The Acadèmia Catalana de Gastronomia i Nutrició is a corporate and public law entity, founded in 1989 by Néstor Luján, the journalist, gourmet and historian, along with a group of fellow gastronomes. The new institution was modeled after other European gastronomy academies established throughout the 20th century: the international, French, Italian, Lombard, Spanish and Basque. The ACGN still maintains institutional ties with all of them to this day.
Gastronomy is a universal and common denominator of all villages. The nexus between life and gastronomy dates back millenniums. It is the mother of all.
The bond our country has with cooking is age-old. Catalunya has always shown interest in progressing. Catalunya is passionate about its cuisine. Our gastronomy has always fascinated its people.
Social, cultural and human changes of a country extend and directly affect the alimentary behavior of its population. It is obvious that for years now cooking has slowly been separated from its essence, and has been altered by the exposure to clever marketing. The homogeneity of our lives disturbs and alters the coexistence of the population, a little more each day. Within more and more families, each person cooks for oneself and then eats alone. Progress reveals more contradictions every day. The intentions and commitments of the ACGN should reflect upon these trends in all of its activities.
Among the first members of the academy were Juan Antonio Samaranch, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Federico Mayor Zaragoza and Xavier Domingo.
Today’s Acadèmia Catalana de Gastronomia i Nutrició was founded in 1989 by Néstor Luján, following the model of other European academies, such as the French, Italian, Basque and Spanish. Its establishment was influenced by the previous years – the decades of the 70s and 80s – in which Catalan cuisine experienced notable culinary developments that made obvious the region’s need and desire to renovate its gastronomy.
In 1981, before the creation of the Academy, the first Catalan Culinary Congress was held, with the fundamental goal of recovering the gastronomical identity of our cooking in order to include it as part of our cultural heritage.
That first event served as a basis to demonstrate the identity of a gastronomy and culinary richness that was beginning to spread worldwide.
Néstor Luján, the prestigious journalist, writer and gastronome was the first President. The Academy was born as a national institution to debate and circulate culinary and gastronomic knowledge so as to preserve the cultural legacy defined by Catalan cuisine.
Néstor Luján was followed by Juan Vives Rodríguez de Hinojosa. After some years Dr. Mariano de la Cruz became the next President, and, then Lluís Bassat. From 2000 to 2010 Miquel Espinet served as President. Then came President Joan Ras, who served until the beginning of 2016, when Josep Casas became Acting President until June of the same year. That same month Carles Vilarrubí was elected and named President, and he currently works with a select group of Academics who have strong ties and history in Catalan gastronomy and nutrition: Artur Carulla i Font (Vice President), Carme Ruscalleda i Serra (Vice President), Joan Font i Torrent (Secretary General), Ramón Agenjo i Bosch (Treasurer), and the following Chairpersons: Rosa Mayordomo i García, Jordi Montaña i Matosas, Paco Solé i Parellada, Montse Folch i Munuera, Valentí Roqueta i Guillamet, Joaquim Uriach i Torelló, Quim Vila i Betriu, Josep Vilella i Llirinós and Elena Yepes i Evangelista.
In 2014 the Associació Acadèmia Catalana de Gastronomia became a corporate and public legal entity and was officially renamed the Acadèmia Catalana de Gastronomia i Nutrició.
The conviction and dreams that a few gastronomes had in the 80s has now become a universal reality. It is a project that the ACGN will continue to drive and spread with enthusiasm and spirit.